Statement of Beliefs Written by George Fox
We now plainly and sincerely declare that we own and believe in God, the only wise, omnipotent, and everlasting God, who is the creator of all things both in heaven and in the earth, and the preserver of all that he has made; who is God over all, blessed for ever; to whom be all honor, glory, dominion, praise and thanksgiving, both now and for evermore! and we own and believe in Jesus Christ, his beloved and only begotten Son, in whom he is well pleased; who was conceived by the holy ghost, and born of the virgin Mary; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins; who is the express image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, by whom were all things created that are in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers; all things were created by him. And we own and believe that he was made a sacrifice for sin, who knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; and that he was crucified for us in the flesh, without the gates of Jerusalem; and that he was buried, and rose again the third day by the power of his Father, for our justification; and we believe that he ascended up into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God.
This Jesus, who was the foundation of the holy prophets and apostles, is our foundation; and we believe there is no other foundation to be laid but that which is laid, even Christ Jesus; who we believe tasted death for every man, and shed his blood for all men, and is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world; according as John the Baptist testified of him, when he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world." John 1,v29. We believe that he alone is our Redeemer and Savior, even the captain of our salvation, who saves us from sin, as well as from hell and the wrath to come, and destroys the devil and his works; who is the seed of the woman that bruises the serpent's head, to wit, Christ Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. That he is (as the scriptures of truth say of him) our wisdom and righteousness, justification and redemption; neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we may be saved. He alone is the shepherd and bishop of our souls: he is our prophet, whom Moses long since testified of, saying," A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall you hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you: and it shall come to pass, that every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." Acts 2,v 22-23. He it is that is now come "and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true." And he rules in our hearts by his law of love and life, and makes us free from the law of sin and death. We have no life, but by him; for he is the quickening spirit, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, by whose blood we are cleansed, and our consciences sprinkled from dead works, to serve the living God. He is our Mediator, that makes peace and reconciliation between God offended and us offending; he being the oath of God, the new covenant of light, life, grace, and peace, the author and finisher of our faith.
Now this Lord Jesus Christ, the heavenly man, the Emanuel, God with us, we all own and believe in; he whom the high priest raged against, and said, he had spoken blasphemy; whom the priests and elders of the Jews took counsel together against, and put to death; the same whom Judas betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, which the priests gave him as a reward for his treason; who also gave large money to the soldiers to broach a horrible lie, namely, "That his disciples came and stole him away by night while they slept." And after he was risen from the dead, the history of the Acts of the apostles sets forth how the chief priests and elders persecuted the disciples of this Jesus, for preaching Christ and his resurrection. This, we say, is that Lord Jesus Christ, whom we own to be our life and salvation.
And as concerning the holy scriptures, we believe they were given forth by the holy spirit of God, through the holy men of God, who (as the scripture itself declares, 2 Pet. 1,v21.) "spoke as they were moved by the holy ghost." We believe they are to be read, believed, and fulfilled, (he that fulfils them is Christ); and they are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, (2 Tim.3,v16), and are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus." We believe the holy scriptures are the words of God; for it is said in Exod.20,v1. "God spoke all these words, saying,…" meaning the ten commandments given forth upon mount Sinai. And in Rel. 22.v18, John said: "I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man adds unto these, and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this, prophecy," (not the Word), So in Luke1,v20. "Because you believe not my words." And so in John 5,v47:15,v7:14,v23:12,v 47. So that we call the holy scriptures, as Christ, the apostles, and holy men of God called them, namely the words of God.
From George Fox's Letter #172
We are of the royal seed, elect and precious, before the world began,
that which (ever) the Sodomites crucified, grieved,
and vexed by their unrighteous, ungodly conversation,
who lived in fullness, and pleasures, and abundance of idleness.
And we are of that seed, that cannot serve the wills and lusts of men,
and bow and stoop to them;
who are a people redeemed out of kindreds, kingdoms, peoples, and nations,
who are of the household of God, built up together a spiritual house,
whose builder and maker is God,
and do reign upon the earth, as kings and priests unto God;
whom we serve day and night.
And are of the seed that has been slain from the foundation of the world,
which the princes of the world, and counsels,
and the great and wise of the earth crucified;
who lived in the form of godliness of the saints' words,
but quenched the spirit in themselves,
and being that birth born of the flesh, persecuted that which is born
of the spirit.
We are of the seed, the anointed,
which the powers of the earth combine and take counsel together against,
whom God (we see) sitting in heaven laughing them to scorn.
We are the royal priesthood, who offer daily to the Lord the spiritual
the holy generation, and the peculiar people, zealous of good works,
clothed with the zeal of Christ against the bad works, and the workers
Therefore of all nations, peoples, sects, ways, professions,
and talkers of religion
are we hated, by them that are out of the way and power of God,
though they profess scriptures, church, worship, and ministry;
yet such have crucified Christ, and the Lord of glory.
We are they that witness the promise of God fulfilled, and that do witness,
that the age is come wherein God would show forth his exceeding riches
which was wrought among the apostles.
We are the anointed of God, and his prophets,
that he said, ' touch not;' who are as the apple of his eye;
who for our sakes has reproved powers, and thrones, and dominions,
and rebuked them.
We are the preachers of righteousness in the great city Sodom,
wherein Christ was crucified,
where the life of the prophets, and the apostles, and holy men of God
and cursers, swearers, drunkards, eaters, and drinkers, that rise up to
in all fullness, wantonness, and profaneness,
profess their words, and make merry over their lives.
And the witnesses since the apostles' days have been slain;
the woman in the wilderness,
the lamb and his wife shall be known which is come up out of the wilderness.
So in this great city of Sodom and Gomorrah, the false church and the
where all the abominations are, that made all the nations drunk
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication;
whereby the world is all on heaps about religion, and church worship,
and the several ways in Sodom's nature, professing the saints' words,
imitating forms, killing and slaying one another about professing the
but out of their life which shows, that they are not of the royal seed,
which said, love enemies;
that is the royal seed, and they that follow him, are of the royal priesthood,
and holy people and generation, among whom is the royal law of love;
whereby we cannot respect men's persons,
for he who does, is convinced of the royal law, to be a transgressor.
So every one of us, that is come to the seed of God, that bruises the
that led man from God, who is the prince of the world, the prince of darkness,
and the prince of the air, the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning,
the corrupter of mankind, the author of the separation from God, and the
original of sin,
the beginning of it, which led man from his dominion
over the handiworks of God;
which the royal seed Christ, destroys, and renews man again in the image
and brings him again to his dominion over the handiworks of God.
And this hundreds of thousands are now witnessing;
by which they come
to be kings, and redeemed from the earth
and come to be made kings upon
in the image of God, over the handiworks of God,
in the wisdom by which they were created.
So all powers whatever that are a terror to evil doers, that bear not
the sword in vain,
to us are praise that do well.
And all kings upon the earth, that were anointed by God,
a figure of our Christ, the king anointed,
he ends them all, and makes kings to reign upon the earth.
Among these Christ is king, which thousands witness. Among these he is
All other kings made by man by putting on man earthly crowns,
earthly man will put them off again - and unking them, if they cross them.
This is the state among them in whom Christ reigns not,
nor the true magistrate obeyed, which is to the evil doers a terror.
But since the Apostles' days all has been in confusion
about religion, church, and worship, among them that have killed the
and since the true church went into the wilderness,
and the witnesses have been slain, and the man child caught up to God.
So they that have slain the witnesses, and killed the saints,
have been in all this confusion;
and the witnesses are rising, and the everlasting gospel shall be preached
(among them that have had the words,
but have slain the life of the prophets and the apostles)
unto all nations, kindreds, and tongues of them that dwell upon the earth.
So the great professors of the world, (which were the Jews),
could not abide Jesus, the king, that he should reign;
and where he is now in the male and in the female,
he is king whom makes kings, among whom he is king.
All is to be done in the name of the mighty King of kings,
and then His name (Jesus) is he power.
and from another section of the Journal
God was the first teacher of man and woman in paradise; and as long as they kept to and under his teaching, they kept in the image of God, in his likeness, in righteousness and holiness, and in dominion over all that God had made; in the blessed state, in the paradise of God. But when they hearkened to the serpent's false teaching, (who was out of truth), disobeyed God, and obeyed the serpent, in feeding upon that which God did forbid; they lost the image of God, the righteousness and holiness, came under the power of satan, and were turned out of paradise; out of the blessed into the cursed state. Then the promise of God was, "That the seed of the woman should bruise the serpents head," break his power that man and woman were under, and destroy his works. So here were three states and three teachers. God was the first teacher in paradise; and while man kept under his teaching, he was happy. The serpent was the second teacher; and when man followed his teaching he fell into misery, into the fall from the image of God, righteousness, and holiness, and from the power that he had over all that God had made; and came under the serpent whom he had power over before. Christ Jesus was the third teacher; of whom God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear you him;" and who himself said, "Learn of me." This is the true gospel-teacher, who bruises the head of the serpent the false teacher, and the head of all false teachers and false religions, false ways, false worships, and false churches. Christ, who said, "Learn of me," and of whom the Father said, “Hear you him," said, “I am the way to God, I am the truth, I am the life, and the true light." So as man and woman come to God, and are renewed up into his image, righteousness, and holiness by Christ, they come into the paradise of God, the state which man was in before he fell; and into a higher state than that, to sit down in Christ who never fell. Therefore, the Son of God is to be heard in all things, who is the Savior and the Redeemer; who has laid down his life, and bought his sheep with his precious blood. We can challenge the entire world. Who has any thing to say against our way? Our Savior? Our Redeemer? Our prophet, whom God has raised up that we may hear, and whom we must hear in all things? Who has any thing against our shepherd Christ Jesus, who leads and feeds us, and we know his heavenly voice? Who has any thing against our bishop, in whose mouth was never guile found, who watches over us in his pasture of life, that we do not go astray out of his fold? Who has any thing against our priest, Christ Jesus, made higher than the heavens, who gives us freely, and commands us to give freely? Who has any thing to say against our leader and counselor, Christ Jesus, who never sinned, but is holy, harmless, and separate from sinners? God has commanded us to hear him, and he said, "Learn of me;” and if we should disobey God's and Christ's command, we should be like our father Adam and mother Eve, who disobeyed God's command, and hearkened to the serpent's teaching. Man commands, and would force us to hear the hirelings, who plead for sin and the body of death to the grave; which doctrine savors of the devil's teaching, not of Christ's. But we resolve to hear the Son, as both the Father and he command; and in hearing the Son, we hear the Father also, as the scripture testifies. For the letter to the Hebrews says, "God, who at sundry times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his Son:" mark that, God has spoken to us (his apostles, disciples, and church), by his Son. And where, some have objected, "That although Christ did speak both to his disciples and to the Jews in the days of his flesh, yet since his resurrection and ascension he does not speak now;" the answer is, as God did then speak by his Son in the days of his flesh, so the Son, Christ Jesus, does now speak by his spirit. For which reason, John said in the Revelations, "He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit said to the churches." Rev 2, v7. "And Christ is said to speak from heaven" Heb.12, v25. "See that you do not refuse him who speaks; for if they did not escape who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven." Whoever resisted Moses' law (who spoke on earth), died for it without mercy, which was a natural death; but whoever refuses him who speaks from heaven, neglects and slights their own salvation, and so die a spiritual death through unbelief and hardness of heart. Therefore was the exhortation given of old, “Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation," Heb. 3, v15. They, who neglect or refuse to hear the voice of Christ now speaking from heaven in this his gospel-day, harden their hearts. Therefore let all mark well these three states and teachers: the God of truth was the first teacher, while man was in paradise and in innocence; the serpent was the second teacher, the false teacher, who by his false teaching came to be the god of the world which lies in wickedness; Christ Jesus, that bruises the serpent's head, is the third teacher, who said, "Learn of me;" of whom God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear you him;" and of whom the testimony of the saints of old was, "That God has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." Thus they, that come to be renewed up again into the divine heavenly image in which man was at first made, will know the same God "that was the first teacher of Adam and Eve in paradise, to speak to them now by his Son, who changes not; glory be to his name for ever!'
and a letter to the early Quakers Annual Meeting in 1679 held in London.
MY DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN,-Who are assembled together in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, fill all your hearts, and establish you in his grace, mercy, and peace upon Christ, the holy living rock and foundation, who is the first and last, and over all the foundations and rocks in the whole world; a rock and foundation of life for all the living to build upon, which stands sure in his heavenly divine light, which is the life in him; by whom all things were made, who is the precious stone laid in Zion, (and not in the world), which all the wise master-builders rejected, who pretended to build people up to heaven with the words of the prophets, and the law from mount Sinai, but out of the life of both: therefore such builders could not receive the law of life from Christ, the precious stone laid in Zion, nor the word from heavenly Jerusalem. But you, my dear friends, that have received this law from heavenly Zion, and the word from heavenly Jerusalem, in the new covenant, where the life and substance is enjoyed, you see the end and abolishing of the Jews' law and ceremonies from mount Sinai. And therefore, my desire is, that you may all keep in the law of life and love, which you have in Christ Jesus, by which love the body is edified, knit, and united together to Christ Jesus, the head. Which love bears all things, fulfils the law, will preserve all in humility, and in it to be of one mind, heart, and soul. So all may come to drink into that one spirit, that does baptize them and circumcise them, plunging down and cutting off the body of the sins of the flesh, that is got up in man and woman by their transgressing of God's commands. So that in this holy pure spirit all may serve and worship the pure God in spirit and in truth, which is over all the worships that are out of God's spirit and his truth. In this spirit you will all have a spiritual unity and fellowship over all the fellowships of the unclean spirits, which are out of truth in the world. By this Holy Spirit all your hearts, minds, and souls may be knit together to Christ, from where it comes; and by the grace and truth, which is come by Jesus Christ, which all should be under the teachings of in the new covenant, and not under the law, as the outward Jews were in the old covenant. By this grace and truth in the new covenant, all may be made God's free men and women, to serve God in the new life, the new and living way: showing forth the fruits of the Hew heart and new spirit, in the new covenant, over death and darkness. Glory to the Lord forever! In this grace and truth is heavenly, gracious, and true liberty to every spiritual mind, which makes you free from him that is out of truth, where your bondage was. Also your liberty in the holy, divine, and precious faith, which gives you victory over that which once separated you from God and Christ by which faith you have access to God again through Jesus Christ. So in this divine and holy faith, you have divine, holy, and precious liberty, yes and victory over him that separated you from God; and this faith is held in a pure conscience. So the liberty in the spirit of God is in that which baptizes and plunges down sin and iniquity, and puts off the body of death and sins of the flesh, that are got up by transgressing God's command. And also the liberty of the gospel, which is sent from heaven by the holy ghost, which is the power of God, which was and is again to be preached to all nations; in this gospel is the true liberty, and the gospel fellowship and order. So that the evil spirit or conscience, or false dead faith, that which is ungracious, out of truth, and not in the spirit of God, nor in his gospel, nor in the divine faith, its liberty is in the darkness; for all true liberty is in the gospel, and in the truth that makes free; in the faith, in the grace, and in Christ Jesus, who destroys the devil and his works, that has brought all mankind into bondage. So in this heavenly, peaceable spirit, truth, and faith, which works by love, and in the gospel of peace, and in Christ Jesus is all the saints' peace and pure, true, and holy liberty; in which they have salt, sense, feeling, discerning, and savor, yes and unity and fellowship one with another, and with the Son and the Father, that heavenly, eternal fellowship. So all being subject to the grace and truth, and to the faith and gospel (the power of God), and to his good spirit, in this they distinguish all true, pure, and holy liberty from that which is false. This will bring all to sit low; for patience runs the race, and the Lamb must have the victory; and not the rough, unruly, and vain talkers, un baptized, uncircumcised, and unsanctified. Such travel not in the way of regeneration, but in the way of un regeneration: neither do they go down into the death with Christ by baptism. Such are not like to reign with him in his resurrection, if are not buried with him in his baptism. Therefore, all must go downward into the death of Christ, and be crucified with him, if they will arise and follow him in the regeneration before they come to reign with him. And, friends, many may have precious openings; but I desire all may be comprehended in that which does open to them, and that they may all keep in the daily cross; then they keep in the power that kills and crucifies that which would lead them among the beast and goats, to leaven them into their rough unruly spirit; that, through the cross, the power of God, that may be crucified, and they in the power might follow the Lamb. For the power of God keeps all in order, subjection, and humility, in that which is lovely, virtuous, decent, comely, temperate, and moderate; so that their moderation comes to appear to all men. My desire is, that all your lights may shine as from a city set upon a hill, that cannot be hid; and that you may be the salt of the earth, to salt, season, and make it savory to God, and you all seasoned with it. Then all your sacrifices will be a sweet savor to the Lord, and you will be as the lilies and roses, and garden of God, which gives a sweet smell unto him: whose garden is preserved by his power, the hedge that hedges out all the unruly and unsavory, the destroyers and hurters of the vines, buds, and plants, and God's tender blade, which springs up from his seed of life, who waters it with his heavenly water and word of life every moment, that they may grow and be fruitful; that so he may have a pleasant and fruitful garden. Here all are kept fresh and green, being watered every moment with the everlasting holy water of life from the Lord, the fountain. My dear friends, my desire is, that this heavenly seed, that bruises down the head of the serpent both within and without, may be your crown and life, and you in him one another's crown and joy, to the praise of the Lord God over all, blessed for evermore. This holy seed will outlast and wear out all that which the evil seed since the fall of man has brought forth and set up. As every one has received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him in the humility which he teaches; and shun the occasions of strife, vain arguments, and disputes with men of corrupt minds, who are destitute of the truth; for the truth is peaceable, the gospel is a peaceable habitation in the power of God; his wisdom is peaceable and gentle, and his kingdom stands in peace. Oh, his glory shines over all his works! In Christ Jesus you will have peace, which is not of the world; yes a peace that the world cannot take away; for the peace that you have from him was before the world was, and will be when it is gone. This keeps all in that which is weighty and substantial over all chaff. Glory to the Lord God over all, forever and ever! Amen.
And now, my dear friends, the Lord does require more of you than he does of other people, because he has committed more to you. He requires the fruits of his spirit, of the light, of the gospel, of the grace, and of the truth; for by your fruits is he glorified, (as Christ said), in your bringing forth much fruit, fruits of righteousness, holiness, godliness, virtue, truth, and purity; so that you may answer that which is of God in all people. Be valiant for his everlasting, glorious gospel in God's Holy Spirit and truth, keeping in the unity, and in the Holy Spirit, light, and life, which is over death and darkness, and was before death and darkness were. In this spirit we have the bond of peace, which cannot be broken except you go from the spirit, and then you lose this unity and bond of peace, which you have from the Prince of peace.
The world also expects more from Friends than from other people; because you profess more. Therefore, you should be more just than others in your words and dealings, more righteous, holy, and pure in your lives and conversations, so that your lives and conversations may preach. For the world's tongues and mouths have preached long enough; but their lives and conversations deny what their tongues have professed and declared.
And, dear friends, strive to excel one another in virtue that you may grow in love, that excellent way which unites all to Christ and God. Stand up for God's glory, and mind that which concerns the Lord's honor, that in no way may his power be abused, nor his name evil spoken of by any evil talkers or walkers; but that in all things God may be honored, and you may glorify him in your bodies, souls, and spirits, the little time you have to live. My love to you all in the holy seed of life, that reigns over all, and is the first and last, in whom you all have life and salvation, and your election and peace with God, through Jesus Christ, who destroys him that has been between you and God; so that nothing may be between you and the Lord but, Christ Jesus. Amen.
My life and love is to you all, and among you all. The Lord God Almighty by his mighty power, by which he has preserved his people unto this day, preserve and keep you all in his power, and peaceable holy truth, in unity and fellowship one with another, and with the Son and the Father. Amen.
The 24th of the 3d month, 1679
So, in that love that bears all things,
and keeps your hearts, minds, and souls up to God, which comes from God,
through which you come to love God, and Christ, and one another;
in that live and dwell.